NEW YORK -- Katie Thurston's season of "The Bachelorette" kicked off with her celebrating her new role. "I feel like being 'The Bachelorette' means that I can fall in love and start a family," she said. She longs for a stable family life after moving around a lot due to her parents' divorce and not having much money while growing up. Katie says she hopes to find someone who she can "be herself" around.
This season's "Bachelorette" bubble is at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in New Mexico due to COVID and the safety precautions the show needed to take to film. Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams are the cohosts this season. Before we could get into that, it was time to meet the men!
The men profiled initially
- Connor B., 29, is a math teacher from Nashville, but he's also a musician. Shocker.
- Karl Smith, 34, is a motivational speaker from Miami. He says the one thing missing in his life is a relationship and he longs for a family.
- Brendan, 26, is a firefighter from Toronto. He used to play hockey but now he's focused on being a firefighter.
- Andrew S. is a pro-football player in Austria. He can do a mean Carlton dance! He seems to have a fun sense of humor.
- Mike, 31, is a gym owner from San Diego. He got drafted into the MLB at a young age. He's never had sex - here's your virgin! You know they had to find the opposite to Katie who is totally, "sex positive!"
- Justin, 26, is an investment banker from Baltimore. He loves to paint and he's amazing at it! He plans on bringing Katie a special painting that he made just for her.
- Tre, 26, is a software engineer from Georgia. He loves music and his parents have been married for 29 years.
- Greg, 27, is from the NYC area and works as a marketing sales representative. His family is in Edison, NJ. He's the youngest of four kids. Greg says he's jealous that his brothers and sisters are married and having kids, and he wants that too.
Kaitlyn and Tayshia snuck up behind Katie and surprised her! She was so happy they were there to help her on her journey. As two former "Bachelorettes" they shared their words of wisdom to her. They ran her through some different scenarios and Katie seemed to know what she wants out of her future husband. They told her to not get too overwhelmed because it's easy to do when you see a parade of handsome men!
The limos arrive
1) Thomas, 28, is a real estate broker from California. He told her she looked beautiful and they talked about how nervous they were. He told Katie he admired her for putting herself out there.
2) Aaron, 26, is an insurance agent from California. He said that people tell him he has a nice smile and after learning she was "The Bachelorette" he couldn't stop smiling. Katie thought he was hot.
3) Andrew M., 31, is a Deputy District Attorney from Newport Beach, CA. He kept saying wow at how beautiful Katie is and that he was there for her.
4) David, 27, is a technical product specialist. He lives in Nashville but he's a New Yorker. David said that he's already feeling her because anything can happen in a New York minute.
5) Michael, 36, is a business owner from Ohio. He gave her a watch that's been in his family for 200 years and told her not to lose it -but it was something he got at the airport. He said time is precious and you should spend it with the people you want to be with and be happy.
6) A truck pulled up and Tre popped out of the back of the truck that was filled with rainbow-colored plastic balls. He said he was there to "have a ball" with her. She said he gave her good vibes. He said the same inside!
7) Greg got out of the limo next and he became choked up seeing her in person. He said that she's exactly the kind of girl that he would go up to in a bar. "He looks like my ex-boyfriend," Katie said. "I don't know if that's good or bad."
8) Gabriel, 35, is an entrepreneur from Charlotte, NC. He said they're living in crazy times and people aren't connected and hugging enough, so he taught her a hug where you hold each other and breathe. He says it helps people connect. It was a little creepy, but Katie thought he was cute.
9) John, 27, is a bartender from California. He said he felt like he's been in a dream and couldn't believe that the situation they are in is real. "That's my type!" Katie said.
10) Garrett, 29, is a software marketing manager from California. These next few guys the show breezed through really quickly...
11) Austin, 25, is a real estate investor from California.
12) Marty, 25, is a dancer from Reno, Nevada, and said to Katie "Why not us?"
13) Landon, 25, is a basketball coach from Dallas. He says he's there to put a smile on her face.
14) Karl said that he wants to see if he can be that missing piece for Katie.
15) Josh, 25, is an IT consultant from Florida. He said he's 100% there for her.
16) An old-timey car pulled up with Andrew S. inside, and he did a fake British accent. He then told her he's really from Chicago. Katie said she knew it all along!
17) Brandon, 26, is an auto parts manager from Queens, NY. He pulled up in a motorcycle.
18) Conor C., 28, is a former baseball player from California. He said he brought his first mitt ever because he hoped to be catching feelings.
19) Kyle, 26, is a technical recruiter from Florida. He said he would be brief and pulled out a pair of briefs from his pants. Nice.
20) Hunter, 34, is from Houston and a software strategist. He brought her a plastic fish because he's hoping she thinks he's a catch.
21) A huge RV showed up with Jeff inside. He's a surgical skin salesman from Jersey City and he says he lives in that RV. Yeah, for real, he really does.
22) A big giant box with a bow was wheeled up. A voice inside said it was so nice to finally meet Katie. The box said his name was James and that if she wanted to meet him she had to find him inside.
23) Brendan the firefighter told Katie that she looked incredible and told her that he was honored to be there as part of her journey. "Why are they all so hot?"
24) Marcus, 30, is a real estate broker from Portland. He said that he was so excited to meet her and was so glad she was "The Bachelorette."
25) Mike said, "How you doin?" He told her she looked gorgeous and said he can't wait to get to know her and her heart.
26) Cody, 27, is a zipper sales manager from San Diego. Tayshia and Kaitlyn thought he was so handsome for her. He wanted her to meet the woman who has helped him through the pandemic - it was a blow-up doll! He told her that the doll is named Sandy, but she's a little shy.
27) Justin, 26, is an investment sales manager from Baltimore. He talked about getting rid of stress by stroke, stroke, stroking it out. Get your mind out of the gutter - he's referring to his paintbrush.
28) Christian, 26, is a Boston real estate agent. He brought a genie lamp and asked if they could rub one out together.
29) Quartney, 26, is a nutrition entrepreneur from Dallas. He told Katie that she's so beautiful and that she was worth the quarantine, quest, quality time, quirky - he used all Q words in his introduction. He hopes that she comes to the right conclusion, and added that his tongue could go on for hours. He made her blush.
30) You knew someone had to wear a costume. It was Connor B. the math teacher from Nashville. He heard she was a cat lover, and he hopes it will make her want to "ask meow out." He said he would go find some milk and Katie gave him a double thumbs up.
Before Katie could enter the room, the big box was wheeled in. He told the guys not to open him, and that he would be out later. Meantime, Katie told Kaitlyn and Tayshia that she couldn't help but be focused on the cat man!
Katie kicks off the cocktail party
Katie welcomed the men to "The Bachelorette" and said that she just wants all of them to be themselves and said that now they could have fun because their mandatory quarantine is over. She asked them to step out of their comfort zones and they all raised a glass to love.
Andrew S. said he was shocked his accent didn't work on her. Katie did her fake British accent alongside him and gave him a toast saying that she hopes their connection blossoms like a rose. Overall - they had a great first interaction.
Thomas told Katie that she had a calming presence when he first met her and it really put him at ease. He added that she gave a perfect toast. Katie admitted that she didn't even remember what she said. Katie said that he's a great guy and he made her blush!
Greg talked about how he's the youngest of four and that everyone has kids. He said his niece made her a necklace out of pasta and he gave it to her. He has eight nieces and nephews. Greg said that she seems like a great girl and he just wants to let his wall down and really be himself. She said that something about him really sticks out to her.
Katie played hockey with the Toronto firefighter and had a fun time outside. The other men saw the game going and so they all grabbed sticks and started playing.
Tre took Katie into the back of the truck he pulled up in and they jumped around in the balls a bit. Then they sat in the back and sipped champagne. Katie said that she loved how easy he was to talk to.
Justin the painter
Justin revealed his painting to Katie and he told her that he left the center open because that's the void in his heart. He hopes that she can fill that void and he will fill it in. He went for the kiss! Wow!
The First Impression Rose appears
The first impression rose was brought out, and you could feel the energy in the room shift. The guys stared it down and the men who didn't have time with Katie yet started to feel anxious.
Jeff and his RV
Jeff took Katie to check out his RV and he even had a little veggie tray inside waiting for her. Katie thought the RV was "definitely lived in" and she said that when he started chomping on celery and throwing his dirty boxers around her "wasn't feeling it."
Two of the guys already don't get along, Aaron and Cody. Aaron said he doesn't like Cody, and no one knows why. I'm sure we'll find out more...someday. In case you were wondering, James is still in the box.
Katie opens the box
After what must have felt like an eternity, Katie decided the time had come. James popped out and asked her for a hug. Katie thought he was super-hot and he told her that he loves her spontaneous nature. Katie thought they had great eye contact and were "talking without talking." The other men were like what? He's handsome and charming? Put him back in the box!
Katie finally got some time with the cat man Connor B. They played a big floor piano like in the movie "Big." She really seemed to have a fun time with him and put on a pair of cat ears. Katie admitted to him that she couldn't stop thinking about him. Connor told Katie he watched her season and appreciates how she wants to build people up. He went in for the kiss! He got his black cat whiskers makeup all over her. She didn't seem to mind! She took his cat hat off and then went to town making out with him. He felt he rushed the kiss a bit, but he said he's flying high and it was amazing.
Michael the single dad
Michael showed Katie a picture of his dog Tommy and that's the same name as her cat! She said she didn't want to be distracted by having her cat there, so she left Tommy home. He then revealed he has a 4-year-old son! Wow! He said he can FaceTime with his son every day and that made Katie feel better about the situation. Katie said she's open to every situation.
Katie gives out her First Impression Rose
Katie walked into the room and grabbed the first impression rose. She asked Greg if she could talk to him! Oh my goodness! He got the first impression rose over the cat guy! She told him once he gets past his nerves; she thinks there's a great guy under there. "I can't believe I got this!" Greg said. "Oh my God!" He was so excited, it was adorable!
Kaitlyn and Tayshia walked into the room and told the guys it was time for the rose ceremony!
1) Greg (First Impression Rose)
6) Connor B. (cat man)
7) Andrew S.
8) James (no longer in the box)
9) Justin (the painter)
16) Conor C.
Coming up this season
Katie and her men go on a lot of adventures and some of them look like they include a lot of nudity. One involves waxing. But, one thing is for sure, Katie makes some big connections. We hear her say, "I love you," so let's hope she finds love! But, you know it won't be without drama! Blake Moynes joins the show late and rocks the boat! There's a lot of tears, and she feels heartbroken at one point, but let's hope it ends with Katie's happily ever after!